Pickleball starts at Westside Community CenterPickleball debuted Feb. 12 at the Westside Community Center with about 10 participants.
Roughly half were from the Westside, and the others had heard about it from other parts of town, according to Bill Morr, operations manager for the Community Center. He said he thought the first day went well, and more participants are welcome.
The sport - a slowed-down hybrid of badminton, ping-pong and tennis - will continue to be offered twice weekly in the gym at the center, 1628 W. Bijou St.
There is no charge, and the paddles and balls are provided.
Pickleball's first day at the center attracted some who had played before and others who were interested in trying it out, so a certain amount of rule-explaining took place.
The playing area is the size of a badminton court, using a net like on a tennis court net but six inches lower. The paddles are ping-pong style, only larger, and a whiffle ball is used.
The scoring is like that in badminton, with points only won on serve and a two-point margin needed for victory. Service rules are also like badminton in that the serve (underhand) has to go diagonally to the left or right half of the opponent's side. A unique rule is that the ball must bounce once for the service return - and for the shot playing it back - before it can be hit in the air. To avoid tennis-style smashes at the net, there's a non-volley zone (also called the “kitchen”) that goes back seven feet on either side of the net.
Doubles or singles can be played, although the Community Center focuses on doubles so more people can play. If people are waiting to play, games may be shortened to seven points instead of the standard 11.
For more information, call the center at 385-7920 x100.
Westside Pioneer article